ELECTRELANE: ROCK IT TO THE MOON
Mr.Lady MRLR22 2001
The mood is set by the album cover: an abandoned carousel amidst the damp and fug of Brighton beach, an empty coast, memories....
a dog barks in the distance, a farfisa hum drifts in, the motorik rhythm of bass and drums click on, the guitar switches from low-key jangle to full-wash feedback...
and it's perfect!
Electrelane are a four piece, mostly instrumental, all-female combo from the UK, and a big thank you to the Misters Lady for bringing them to our shores. Unlike most of their instrumental cohorts, and here I'm thinking Tortoise, Fridge, Rothko - Electrelane really aren't post-rock at all, and therein lies the difference:
They truly groooove. Kinda like Stereolab's "Jenny Ondioline" (ok, Neu!'s "Hallo Gallo" smarty-pants), but replace any loungy Brian Wilsonisms with let's say, Link Wray or James Williamson. Which means ROCK. Not that they really play songs, mind you: tunes tend to meander to and fro, a drone over here, a feedback wail over there - but the pieces do indeed travel, tell a story, and take you places. Fucking groovy places. What I find truly lovely about Electrelane is that they accomplish this arty-sounding (in print, not in actuality) enterprise without guile or contrivance, which is a bit of a relief in these all-too-clever musical times. The players are seemingly egoless, all the instruments simply (and equally) in service to THE SOUND. And a glorious sound it is (and fun too, honest!). I really can't recommend this highly enough, especially for those whose sensibilities lean toward the abstract. Electrelane are coming to the U.S. this fall to record their second lp with Steve Albini in Chicago - sounds too good to be true, maybe we'll be lucky enough to get a tour - Ladyfest perhaps.